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Someone dressed as Santa Claus, usually during the Christmas season, and hired to work in a department store. Cause of years of therapy for many traumatized children who were told to "sit in Santa's lap." Also known as "Santa's Helpers"

"I stopped believing in Santa Claus when I was six. Mother took me to see him in a department store and he asked for my autograph."

Shirley Temple

In 1870, Macy's department store hired their first Santa Claus, who listened to little children's wishes, then told parents where to get the toys. He was an immediate hit, and has become an icon representing commerce and capitalism at it's best.

From the 12/09/96 broadcast of The Late Show with David Letterman:

Department Store Santa Pet Peeves
    10. Kids who refuse to believe that's fruitcake on your breath, not gin
    9. When the last guy to use the beard leaves bits of his lunch in it
    8. Even with the costume, people recognizing you from "America's Most Wanted"
    7. Parents who get all uptight when you offer their kids a pinch of Skoal
    6. That billionaire elf from Texas who won't shut up about running for president
    5. Enduring the taunts of your old buddies from Yale Drama School
    4. Those dorks in the Power Rangers costumes get all the babes
    3. Kids who don't understand that Santa's been a little jittery since he got back from 'Nam
    2. Constantly being asked, "Is Rudolph gay?"
    1. Two words: lap rash

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